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7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost

7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost

Life is like a roller coaster. There are ups, downs, plunges, and sharp turns. Expect them and prepare to deal with them. Your emotional status takes a major hit during these periods, and reality can become clouded. The mind occasionally seems blank; what course of action to take next is quite unclear. It takes being lost in life at times in order to find your correct path and purpose. And the reality of this discovery can be downright scary.

Having the right attitude is foremost; resolve to be optimistic and confident. Be as American’s premier First Lady, Martha Washington, and declare, I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance; but, by our disposition.

Conversing with reliable people when dealing with change and adversity is of amazing benefit. It’s fantastic for your mental, physical and relationship health. Sharing how you feel, sharing what’s going on in your life, and in your head brings relief. It is such a good feeling to know that you are not alone during your trials.

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When faced with challenges, another crucial step (in taking charge and pursuing triumph) is talking them out. No man is an island. We all need someone to chat with in the happy times, and definitely in the melancholy times. Here are 7 People You Should Talk to When You Feel Lost – they will navigate you into the right direction.

1. Pastors

After you assure that your diet and exercise routine are in order, the spiritual or religious plane is the next best area to approach. When the mind and spirit are in harmony, great things can happen. And for sure, If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. (Author Unknown) Your pastor or other spiritual leader will be able to give you wisdom and understanding to achieve a suitable conquest. They will help you believe in yourself and your innate abilities. In many cases help will be available to enhance your skill set.

2. Teachers

Sometimes you listen to your teachers faster than you listen to your parents. For certain you spend many hours with them on a daily basis. They know a lot about you; they know how to get your attention. Real teachers genuinely care about you. They are forever instructing you to concentrate and keep your dialogue positive. Evidence is conclusive that your self-talk has a direct bearing on your performance. (Zig Ziglar) Do not hesitate to speak with your teachers about feeling lost. They want to help you.

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3. A Parent or Other Trustworthy Relative

Neither your friends nor family members are able to always be there for you. Nonetheless, it is essential that you take the time to talk with them. Not everyone has wonderful parents; but for each person who does, it is well worth it to talk with them about your troubles. After all, they are closest to you, they love you and they have been there, done that already. No one can tell you like a mom or dad to Just remember – when you think all is lost, the future remains. (Robert H. Goddard) It is so potent and holds such incredible meaning when it comes from their lips. No one gives you hope and stick-to-it-iveness like your parents.

Talking things over with your dad, mom or other responsible family member can significantly reduce your stress level. The fact that they understand what you are dealing with and are sincerely concerned eliminates a whole lot of worry and heartache.

In How to Talk to Your Parents by Camille Peri, Kathy McCoy, MD asserts that “Nobody is going to care about and love you with the intensity of your parents — even when you’re trying to push away from them. As intense and wonderful as friendships can be – and some of them are for life, but most of them aren’t – you can count on your parents when your friends might flake on you. Talking to your parents doesn’t mean you’re acting like a kid again. You can ask their opinion and you don’t have to accept everything they say.”

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4. A Genuine Friend

There really is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And this is the comrade that you want to pour your heart out to. You can do this will a bonafide friend because they know when to talk and when to be quiet. They are super listeners and have no problem giving you the straight truth – even if it stings because they will be right there to apply soothing easement. They are experts at distinguishing your logic and intellect from your emotions.

Yes, real friends are aware that All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. (Blaise Pascal) When you feel lost and out of it, you tend not to see things as they really are or can be. Your genuine friend picks up the slack for you. True friends support one another when the going is tough as well as when the merriment soars.

5. A Mentor or Life Coach

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. (Joseph Campbell) If there was no disruption in your life, you would roll with the status quo and never grow. Consequently, in each life – including yours – some rain drops do fall. They get pretty heavy sometimes and cause you to reel and rock.

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A personal mentor or coach is idea for getting help and guidance at such a time as this. He or she is trained to help you realize why this change is necessary now. With a life coach or mentor’s assistance, you begin to understand the true meaning behind the challenges, and the requirements for excelling through them. The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves. Steven Spielberg

6. A Person Held in High Regard

If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before. (J Loren Norris) Like most folks, there is someone in your business network, on your job, or in your organization that you greatly esteem. They are just where you want to be when you grow up! Is there any better person to discuss your present concerns with? Most probably they have already encountered what you are now faced with, and will give you the exact formula for getting through it. They can even provide you with tried and true shortcuts!

7. A Manager and Upper Level Manager

The workplace is filled with issues and ordeals. When talking with your co-workers, teammates, and supervisors fail to bring results, it’s time to take things to a higher level. Often, upper management is not informed or is not correctly informed of what’s going on in the workplace. This is why you must step up and address your concerns with them one-on-one. The best managers lead by example, give employees feedback, and make mentoring their employees a priority. (Dianne Shaddock)

Feeling lost or stuck in a rut is truly a good place to be on occasion. It can be an important chapter in your life for gaining knowledge about yourself and about your own desires. If you govern yourself wisely, you’ll be quite astonished and pleased with the results after finding your way out of the maze, the fog, the lostness. Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want. (Sue Bender) This is why it is so important to recruit help.

Featured photo credit: From Josephine Ferraro via psychotherapist-nyc.blogspot.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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